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What’s the link between grey hair, lukewarm coffee and mashed pumpkin?

Published: Friday, August 09, 2019

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Words by Maureen Jordan

Turn blonde into gun metal grey

According to the stars, a Leo’s hair is their “mane” attraction and while I’m no Rapunzel, I take my hair colour seriously. My locks are blonde, always have been and always will be. I started out legally blonde but now break a few rules to stay that way, until a week ago when I entered a hair salon “fair” and exited gun metal grey.

How did that happen? 

I move between three hairdressers – it’s a time/motion thing. Convenience of location with a busy schedule is the driving factor. I look in the mirror and see undesired regrowth and move to the nearest of these salons at the time. 

The hairdresser knows the drill – as long as I walk out the same colour I came in, everything’s sweet. Usually it is. While in the chair, either I close my eyes and drift off or become totally focussed on some strategy piece I’m writing so I barely notice what’s going on around me, which was the case recently. A glance in the mirror made me wonder who was sitting in the chair because the reflection certainly didn’t look like me, now donning a mop of ghastly grey tresses. 

Did I need my glasses? Nope, it was grey!
Speechless, I looked aware in horror. I had a lunch engagement in North Sydney. I couldn’t back out
, so I quietly paid while the hairdresser raved about how much she loved my new look. Maybe she did. Trouble was – I didn’t. I had a dozen things to do before I retired that evening. I figured as long as I didn’t look in any mirror I’d forget I’d been given an unwanted makeover. How colour can change your look.

I called the offending hairdresser – my least favourite  explaining quietly that I wasn’t happy and would she be able to change the colour that day. She obliged and put me through some shampoo treatment that didn’t work any magic. I still looked light years from the me I know so well. But the real surprise was that she charged me for doing this. How does someone make a mistake then expect to be paid to fix it up?

Skim milk decaf cappuccino volcanic hot, please

Just like my hair colour, I like to drink my coffee the way I like it. What gives with these baristas who think they have the right to tell people how coffee has to be consumed? It reminds me of the days when certain chefs wouldn’t let a customer eat meat the way they like it. That one seems to have changed. The other night I was asked if I wanted my salmon cooked all the way through. Hallelujah! 

So I entered a café the other day and went through the drill of how I take my morning beverage. I happen to like my coffee hot – and yes, I know that it burns the milk and causes the milk to curdle and could give me stomach cancer and every other ailment that I’m yet to suffer from – but that’s the way I like it. And I’m paying the piper so I was led to believe that I call the tune. But no, Mr Barista man had different thoughts so I was handed a lukewarm drink as if my order wasn’t heard. I’d already paid so I sipped it, realised it wasn’t what I wanted and walked out.

I’ll take the pumpkin soup, thanks, no bread

Arrived at the office and the pace was on, so it was noon before I realised that there wasn’t even hot milk curdling in my tummy this morning. I wandered down the local café and hesitatingly asked for soup of the day – pumpkin. Turnaround time was quick but to my surprise I was handed a bowl of the very same thing that my six month old granddaughter had consumed the night before – mashed pumpkin. I tried to tackle it, wishing I’d asked for the bread so I could pretend it was a dip – it was that thick. Three spoonfuls later I gave up and proceeded to pay. The gorgeous young waitress wondered why I was leaving early and I quietly explained that I prefer soup a little more liquid. She asked me if I’d tell the chef because she sees customers leaving food but he won’t take any feedback and yells at her if she tries to give it. I hated the thought of this delightful young person being yelled at so I stuck my head around the kitchen corner and gave ‘chef’ the feedback. He yelled at me! “I’ve been cooking pumpkin soup for 15 years so don’t tell me how to cook,” he screamed. I couldn’t hold back: “You’ve been cooking pumpkin soup badly for 15 years,” I replied.

Here’s the point of these three stories (and I’ve got a few more of a far more serious nature that I’ll share with you soon): I’m the customer, give me what I want. And if you don’t give me what I’ve asked for, get the idea out of your brain that I have to pay for it. I could become the real legal blonde and start quoting sections of the Trade Practices Act but I’ll leave that for another day, when I tell you stories of businesses that live by the maxim: “rip them off.”

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